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What is the Placater pattern?

The Placater always speaks in an ingratiating manner; he tries to please; he apologizes and never votes against anything, no matter what. He is a yes-man. He speaks as if he could do nothing for himself. He must always find someone who gives him recognition. He attempts to shift responsibility for a mistake in a diplomatic fashion, so that people think they are nice. In fact, the Placater may accept the blame for everything, just so that people perceive him as a good person. The Placater does not use forceful or threatening language or gestures.

Placating is one of the four most important ways people react when we feel our survival is threatened. When they placate, they disregard our own feelings about our value, surrender their power to someone else, and say yes to everything. A person who tends towards placating takes others and the context into account but disregards his own true feelings.

Placating plays at being pleasing, which is highly appreciated in most cultures and families.

But placating is different from the congruent effort to make someone happy. They placate at the expense of our own value. When they placate, they violate our own self-esteem and convey the message to the other that we are not important.

Placating reactions include:

Words: agreeing ("Whatever you want is alright, I exist only to make you happy.")

Body: conciliating ("I'm helpless.")

Thoughts and feelings: ("I feel like nothing, I'm dead without him. I'm worth nothing.")

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